List of the cities in Thessaly which issued coins in ancient times and a collection of coins from the area
The goal of this guide is to share the information about the types of ancient Greek coins that were struck by the Greek towns of the area in central Greece known as Thessaly. With the list you can see below, you can use to search my store by clicking on the term, or printed out as a check-list to help you put together a coin collection from the area. With the video and the list of coins along with pictures and descriptions of them, you too, can become an expert in these types of coins. Some of the cities just issued bronze coins, others issued gold silver and bronze types.
The most comprehensive book on the subject is Handbook of Ancient Greek Coins Volume 4 by Oliver D. Hoover. The other book to get is the Volume I and Volume II of Ancient Greek Coins and Their Values by David R. Sear. You can also see pictures and descriptions of coins from Thessaly for research purposes at this research site, by scrolling to the section on Thessaly with much information about the coin types.
The most prominent town of ancient Thessaly was Larissa, which minted some of the most prolific coin types of that area. Many of the city’s coins featured a nymph and a horse. Many of the coins of ancient Thessaly featured horses. Thessaly issued coins into the Roman times, and the types are known as Greek Imperial/ Roman Provincial. Coins discussed in this video include those of Augustus, Claudius and Gallienus.
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List of The Cities of Ancient Thessaly
Pherai, Teisiphon Tyrant of
Pherai, Alexander Tyrant of
The Thessalian League
Examples of Authentic Ancient Greek Coins of Thessaly
See the coins illustrated in the video here. It is great to see what these coins look like and get to appreciate the art and history of them.
LARISSA in THESSALY 356BC Silver Drachm Nymph Horse Ancient Greek Coin i47970
Silver Drachm 20mm (5.75 grams) Struck circa 356-320 B.C.
Reference: HGC 4, 453; BCD Thessaly II, lot 280
Pedigree: Ex BCD Collection with his original hand-written tag and photos of this coin
Head of nymph Larissa facing three-quarters left, wearing ampyx.
ΛAPI/ΣΑIΩN, Horse grazing right.This city was named after a local water nymph named Larissa. The story goes that the nymph drowned while playing ball on the banks of the Peneios River. In Greek mythology, the Greek hero Perseus accidentally killed his grandfather, King Akrisios of Argos when participating in the funeral games held in the city for nymph Larissa. The people of that city made their wealth from the rich agricultural area around the city and from breeding horses.
LARISSA in THESSALY 420BC Silver Drachm HERO vs BULL Ancient Greek Coin i47972
Silver Drachm 20mm (5.72 grams) Struck circa 420-400 B.C.
Reference: HGC 4, 420; BCD Thessaly II, lot 173-175 and 370.1; ANG Ashmolean 3860
Pedigree: Ex BCD Collection with his original hand-written tag and photos of this coin
Hero (Thessalos or Jason) wrestling a bull.
ΛAPI/ΣΑIΩN, Horse grazing right.This type references taurokathapsia (bull-wrestling) with the depiction of a hero wrestling the bull, which was a sport played at the Taureia games honoring Poseiodn Taureios. Jason was the father of Thessalos in a mythological tradition whom in turn was the ancestor of the entire Thessalian people.
Larissa in Thessaly 460BCObol Horse Lion Hydira Ancient Silver Greek Coin i46757
Silver Obol 12mm (0.72 grams) Struck circa 460-400 B.C.
Reference: BCD Thessaly II 358.1
Horse prancing right; above, head of lion right.
Larissa standing right, balancing hydria on raised knee; to left, lion’s head fountain right, from which water pours forth; Λ Α RI around from upper left; all within incuse square.
LARISSA in THESSALY 462BC Obol Bull Horse Ancient Silver Greek Coins i46360
Silver Obol 11mm (0.94 grams) Struck circa 462-460 B.C.
Reference: BCD Thessaly II 147; Liampi, Corpus 15i (V7/R9)
Head and neck of bull left, turning to face viewer.
ΛΑ (retrograde) downward to right, head and neck of bridled horse right; all within incuse square.
Larissa in Thessaly 350BC RARE Authentic Ancient Greek Coin Nymph Horse i42111
Bronze 18mm (7.42 grams) Struck 350-325 B.C.
Reference: Sear 2132 var., B.M.C. 7. 86.
Head of nymph Larissa three-quarter face to left, wearing necklace; hair confined by fillet
and floating loosely, with ampyx in front.
ΛΑΡΙΣΑIΩN. – Thessalian horseman right, holding spear, horse prancing; beneath, Σ.
LARISSA Thessaly THESSALIAN LEAGUE 196BC Athena Apollo Greek Coin i43487
under Thesssalian League
Bronze 19mm (6.61 grams) Struck 196-27 B.C.
Reference: Rogers 21; SNG Copenhagen 315
Laureate head of Apollo right.
ΘEΣΣA/ΛΩN, Athena Itonia striding right, hurling spear held in her right hand, shield on her left arm; above spear; IΠΠ-OΛO; A to left; to right, P above I.
PHARSALOS in THESSALY 400BC Athena Horse Authentic Ancient Greek Coin i49251
Bronze 15mm (3.40 grams) Struck circa 400-344 B.C.
Reference: HGC 4, 654; Sear 2196; Rogers 485-487; BCD Thessaly II, 653, 666.2
Head of Athena left in close-fitting crested Attic helmet ornamented with figure of Skylla.
ΦΑΡΣ, Helmeted cavalryman charging right on horseback, brandishing flail upon which bird perches.One of the more important towns of Thessaly, Pharsalos was built on the northern slopes of Mt. Narthakios. It was the scene of Caesar’s famous victory over Pompey in 48 B.C.
PHARSALOS in THESSALY 400BC Athena Horseman Footman Ancient Greek Coin i49255
Bronze 21mm (9.17 grams) Struck circa 400-344 B.C.
Reference: HGC 4, 646; Sear 2193 var.; Rogers 503-504; BCD Thessaly II, 671.3-4
Head of Athena three-quarter face to left, wearing triple-crested Corinthian helmet.
ΦΑΡΣ, Helmeted cavalryman charging right on horseback, brandishing flail; bird perches on helmet; footman advancing right, behind, carrying flail over shoulder.
PHARSALOS in THESSALY 400BC Athena Horse Authentic Ancient Greek Coin i49216
Bronze 12mm (1.58 grams) Struck circa 400-344 B.C.
Reference: HGC 4, 655; Sear 2197; Weber 2912; BCD Thessaly I, lot 1286;
BCD Thessaly II, lots 649 and 654
Head of Athena in Attic helmet right adorned with Skylla.
ΦΑΡΣ, Head of horse right.
SKOTUSSA Thessaly400BC Hercules Horse Rare Ancient Silver Greek Coin i22382
Silver Trihemiobol 12mm (1.00 grams) Struck 400-367 B.C.
Reference: Sear 2219 var.
Bearded head of Hercules right, wearing lion’s skin.
Forepart of horse right, left leg raised; Σ-KO in lower field.
Details about SKOTUSSA in THESSALY 300BC Ares Horse Authentic Ancient Greek Coin i49475
Bronze 20mm (5.32 grams) Struck 300-200 B.C.
Reference: HGC 4, 615; Sear 2223
Head of Ares right, in close-fitting helmet ornamented with plume.
ΣKOTOYΣ / ΣAIΩN above and below horse prancing right.
Details about KRANNON in THESSALY 400BC Horseman Hydria Authentic Ancient Greek Coin i49156
Bronze 15mm (4.87 grams) Struck circa 400-344 B.C.
Reference: Sear 2073 var.; HGC 4, 385
Horseman galloping right.
Hydria, mounted on wheels.The city was near the source of the river Onchestos. People of Krannon held Poseidon in high regard. The city derived it’s name from the various springs in the area (called kranna in Aiolic Greek). The city had an abundance of sheep and horses grazing in the plains which brought it great wealth. In times of drought, they had a hydria on wheels which they paraded through the city accompanied by prayers to Apollo, which it was famous for. There was also a temple of Athena and Asclepius in the city.
Details about Perrhaiboi in Thessaly 450BC Athena Horse Ancient Greek Silver Coin i46721
Silver Obol 13mm (0.78 grams) Struck circa 450-400 B.C.
Reference: BCD Thessaly II 551.1
Horse prancing right.
Π–E–P–A, Athena Itonia, holding spear, aegis over arm, advancing right within incuse square.
Details about Larissa Kremaste in Thessaly 300BC ACHILLES Troy Hero Ancient Greek Coin i49349
Bronze Trichalkon 19mm (5.34 grams) Struck circa 300-200 B.C.
Reference: HGC 4, 13; BCD Thessaly II, 403
Head of Achilles left.
ΛΑΡΙ, Thetis riding hippocamp left, charring shield.Situated in the south of Thessaly, Larissa Kremaste was built on a height, hence its name. It was taken by Demetrios Poliorketes in 302 B.C., during his invasion of Thessaly. The myth goes that Achilles, the tragic hero of the Trojan war was born in the city and ruled a port of it’s dominions. Larissa Kremaste was also the city that Perseus visited on his exile from Argos. Thetis was the mother of Achilles, who is shown on coins from the city to be delivering weapons to him that were forged by the smith god, Hephaistos.
Details about MOPSION Thessaly 350BC MOPSUS v CENTAUR RARE Authentic Ancient Greek Coin i46547
Bronze Trichalkon 22mm (8.53 grams) Struck circa 2nd half of the 4th century B.C.
Reference: Sear 2154
Head of Zeus three-quarter face to right; thunderbolt in field to right.
ΜΟΨEIΩΝ, The Lapith Mopsons, naked, standing facing, wielding club about to strike Centaur rearing left, holding boulder over head with both hands.
Details about Greek city of Perrhaiboi in Thessaly Authentic Ancient Coin 2ndCenBC Zeus i42044
Bronze Trichalkon 22mm (6.35 grams) Struck Late 2nd to early 1st century B.C.
Reference: Rogers 440; SNG Copenhagen 197; BCD Thessaly II 561; SNG Alpha bank 194ff
Laureate and bearded head of Zeus right.
ΠEPPAIBΩN, Hera, diademed and draped, seated right on backless throne, holding long scepter with her right and resting her left on her knee.
Details about GYRTON in THESSALY 400BC Zeus Cult Horse Authentic Ancient Greek Coin i37414
Bronze 20mm (6.86 grams) Struck 400-344 B.C.
Reference: Sear 2089; B.M.C. 7.5
Laureate head of Zeus left.
ΓΥΡΤΩΝΙΟΝ, Horse trotting left; ΠM monogram below.
Details about PHALANNA in THESSALY 350BC Ares Nymph Authentic Ancient Greek Coin i49209
Bronze 17mm (4.06 grams) Struck circa 350-325 B.C.
Reference: HGC 4, 175; Sear 2180; BCD Thessaly I, lot 1255; BCD Thessaly II, lots 578-580 and 591 3-8
Head of Ares right.
ΦΑΛΑΝΝΑΙΩΝ, Head of nymph Phalanna right, hair in sakkos.
Details about PHAKION in THESSALY 350BC Persephone Horseman RARE Ancient Greek Coin i49477
Bronze 19mm (5.73 grams) Struck circa 300-200 B.C.
Reference: HGC 4, 542 (R1); Sear 2176; Papevangelou 1996, nos. 1-42; BCD Thessaly I, lot 1249; BCD Thessaly II, lot 566; B.M.C. 7.1,2
Head of Persephone right, wreathed with grain.
ΦΑΚΙΑΣΤΩΝ, Horseman trotting right, right hand raised.
HALOS in THESSALY 302BC Zeus Phrixus on GOLDEN Ram RARE Greek Coin i49230
Bronze 14mm (1.40 grams) Struck circa 302-265 B.C.
Reference: HGC 4, 8 (R1); BCD Thessaly II, lot 86.2
Laureate head of Zeus right.
AΛΕΩN, Phrixos riding ram right.Where Halos was originally located is unknown, however it is known that to have been located in the northern Achaia Phthiotis and overlooked Crocus Field. The myth of the city starts at the Halean temple of Zeus Lpahystios where the twins Helle and Phrixos were to be sacrificed, when a golden-fleeced flying ram was sent to rescue them by their mother, the nymph Nephele. King Athamas of Boiotia, was the father of Helle and Phrixos and was believed to have been the founder of the city. At the end of the Third Sacred War, in 346 B.C. the city was destroyed by the Macedonian general Parmenion. In 302 B.C. the city was re-founded, but this time closer to the sea coast by either Kassander or his rival Demetrios Poliorketes, rivals for the Macedonian throne. By around 265 B.C. the city was abandoned ostensibly due to a bad earthquake.
Bronze 15mm (2.86 grams) Struck circa 400-344 B.C.
Reference: HGC 4, 284; Sear 2166 var. (horseman right)
Helmeted cavalryman charging left on horseback, spearing fallen hoplite.
ΠEΛΛINAEI, Thessalian peltast advancing lef, brandishing javelin and holding shield and javelin.
Federal Coinage of The Magnetes
Bronze 20mm (6.20 grams) Struck 196-146 B.C.
Reference: Sear 2138; B.M.C. 7.11
Laureate head of Zeus left.
ΜΑΓΝΗΤΩΝ, Centaur standing right, right hand held before him, holding branch in left; plough to left, HΔ monogram below.
Details about LAMIA in THESSALY 325BC Athena Philoktetes Trojan War Archer Greek Coin i49224
Issuing in the name of the Malians (also known as the Malienses)
Bronze Chalkous 15mm (1.50 grams) Struck circa 325-300 B.C.
Reference: Sear 2142; Georgiou, Mint 16; Rogers (Malia) 384; BCD Thessaly II 125; HGC 4, 106
Helmeted head of Athena right.
MAΛIEΩ, Philoktetes right, shooting arrow at bird falling to right; quiver to lower right.
Details about PEUMA in THESSALY 302BC Achilles Trojan War Troy Hero Ancient Greek Coin i49485
Bronze Chalkous 12mm (1.88 grams) Struck circa 302-286 B.C.
Reference: Rogers 442; BCD Thessaly II 565
Wreathed head of Achilles right.
ΠEYMATIΩN around AX monogram; Phrygian helmet to right.
Details about Pherai in Thessaly TYRANT Teisiphon 358BC Bull Horse Ancient Greek Coin i49345
Teisiphon – Tyrant of Pherai: 358-354 B.C.
Bronze Chalkous 15mm (2.22 grams)
Reference: HGC 4; 585; Sear 2214; Rogers 530; BCD Thesssaly I, lot 1316; BCD Thessaly II, lots 709-710
Forepart of bull right, head facing.
ΤΕΙΣΙΦΟΝΟΥ, forepart of horse prancing right.Teisiphon was the brother of Thebe who was the wife of the previous tyrant, Alexander. Thebe opened the door to Alexander’s bedchamber. Teisiphons two brothers held Alexander down while Teisiphon finished him off with his sword. Through bribery, Teisiphon was able to get the support of Alexander’s mercenaries, which they used to destroy the political opposition to his reign. Then he became the tyrant of the city, although he may have been a puppet of his sister Thebe. Teisiphon was succeeded by two further tyrants, whom were eventually overthrown by Philip II, king of Macedon.Situated west of Mt. Pelion, Pherai was the second city of Thessaly, after Larissa. In the 4th Century B.C. its tyrants extended their power over most of the region.
Details about AUGUSTUS 27BC Thessaly Koinon ATHENA Authentic Ancient Roman Coin RARE i47217
Bronze Diassarion 22mm (10.46 grams) of Thessaly, Koinon of Thessaly
Megalokles, strategos, and Arist–, tamias(?)
Reference: Burrer Em. 2, Series 2, 69 (A17/R58); BCD Thessaly I 1398; RPC I 1428
ΣEBAΣ-TOΣ ΘEΣΣAΛΩN, laureate head right
ΣTPATHΓOY M-EΓAΛOKΛEOYΣ APIΣT, Athena Itonia striding right, hurling spear held in right hand, shield on her left arm; monogram to right.
Details about CLAUDIUS 41AD Koinon of Thessaly Thessalian League Athena Roman Coin i42048 Rare
Bronze Diassarion 24mm (7.57 grams) of THESSALY, Koinon of Thessaly
Reference: RPC 1435-1436; Burrer Em. 1, Series 3, Grp. 1a, 43 corr. (A15/R34; rev. legend)
ΘΕΣΣΑΛΩΝ ΣΕΒΑΣΤΗΩΝ, Bare head of Augustus right.
ΑΝΤΙΓΟΝΟΥ ΣΤΡΑΤΗΓΟΥ, Athena Itonia striding right, hurling spear held in her right hand, shield on her left arm; monogram in left field.
Details about GALLIENUS 253AD Koinon of Thessaly Athena Authentic Ancient Roman Coin i49342
Bronze Tetrassarion 25mm (10.33 grams) of Koinon of Thessaly in Thessaly
Reference: Sear GIC 4530 var.; Burrer, MA–G 53; BCD Thessaly II 991.2-991.3
AVT. ΓΑΛΛΗNΟC ΑVΓ, Radiate, draped, and cuirassed bust right.
KOINON ΘЄΣΣΑΛΩΝ, Athena Itonia striding right, hurling spear with right hand, shield on left arm; Δ (mark of value) to left.
Article by Ilya Zlobin, world-renowned expert numismatist, enthusiast, author and dealer in authentic ancient Greek, ancient Roman, ancient Byzantine coins and beyond.
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